But in the end, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) prevailed on everyone that they’ll be much more likely to accomplish their common goals if they stick together. And the members seemed to agree. Which is one of the explanations for the notable Democratic unity at the moment: Although there may be substantive differences from time to time, the party understands that it’s stronger as a united front.
Perhaps Democrats learned a lesson from watching Republicans in recent years, in both the GOP’s successes and failures. Republicans decided in 2009 that they would oppose everything President Barack Obama tried to do, and it was a successful strategy; they stymied him at every turn without really paying a political price. But they ran into trouble when tea party members decided to create conflict, forcing a government shutdown and threatening to default on America’s debt. Those rogue rightists made life hell for two speakers, John A. Boehner and Paul D. Ryan, who constantly had to put down revolts to accomplish the party’s goals.
Pelosi won’t stand for that, and she’s simply better at the job than Boehner and Ryan were, finding ways to settle disagreements among her members before they get out of hand and making sure they vote the way she needs them to.